King’s Spirit alive and well

FROM humble beginnings playing basketball with school friends in Ballina, Lauren King is making a splash in the Women’s National Basketball League.

The 25-year-old is a guard and forward for Bendigo Spirit, now in its third season in the WNBL, and she landed 14 points in the Spirit’s 13-point win over Dandenong at the weekend.

“We’re doing really good, and we’re coming third at the moment, so we are going along well,” King said.

While King is working hard on her shooting to keep the Spirit in the running for a place in the finals, it was in Year 4 at Southern Cross K-12 School that she and some friends banded together to make a local junior team.

“While I was in Ballina I played juniors and rep for Ballina, and played school basketball from Year 4 to Year 11,” she said. “A few of my friends at Southern Cross were good at basketball so we got together and played.”

While playing for NSW in the State representative team, King showed some promise was selected for the AIS.

At just 16, she moved to Canberra to join the AIS team, and has continued to rise through the WNBL ranks.

She played for Townsville Fire for three seasons, spent another two seasons with the Adelaide Lightning then joined Bendigo Spirit for the 2008-09 season.

“I always used to watch the WNBL so that was just the next progression from playing,” she said. “I kept getting selected for teams and moving up and up.”

King always played guard, even as a junior, and has continued to play in the position up until now.

“I’ve always played as a shooter, and I work hard at it,” she said.

“I’ve been a guard for most of it but had to step in as a forward and so now I’ve been going between playing inside and outside.”

Now into her second season with the Spirit, King said she is ‘happy here’.

“I really like it here, even though it would be great to have a team in northern New South Wales,” she said.

However, it isn’t all play for King, who fits in daily training around her work as a physical education teacher for children from Kindergarten to Year 2 at Kennington Primary School in Bendigo.

“I’m six-foot, so I think they think I’m a giant,” she laughed. “A few of them play basketball, and I get quite a few of them come along to my games. It’s good to see them come and I have quite a following now.”

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